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The Wrath of Khan – The Making of the Classic Film Review: A gem for your Star Trek reference collection

The Wrath of Khan: The Making of the Classic Film Review: A gem for your Star Trek reference collection
Image credit: Titan Books

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: The Making of the Classic Film Book Review

1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is widely considered one of — if not the — best of the franchise. The film combines a well-crafted script, a memorable villain, and engaging visuals to tell a story of revenge and dealing with life changes. Such a classic movie surely deserves a great behind-the-scenes account of its creation, and fans now have just the book to add to their collection: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: The Making of the Classic Film.

Interior page
Interior page | Credit: Titan Books

The title says it all. Published by Titan Books and written by prominent Star Trek researchers John Tenuto and Maria Jose Tenuto – whose Star Trek-related work appears in Wired magazine, USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, on CBS, WGN, the BBC, and even here on TrekNews.net – The Making of the Classic Film offers an immersive account of the movie’s production, with brilliantly organized pages showcasing a variety of behind-the-scenes documentation.

No subject is left behind across the 189 pages; early script minutiae, cut scenes, archival material, makeup and costuming details, used and unused concept art, discussions about various script elements, like the titular antagonist, spotlights of the unsung heroes on the production process, little-known stories, and numerous other points of interest populate this book. There really is no stone left unturned, which isn’t surprising considering the authors’ history in delving deep into this franchise.

Interior page
Interior page | Credit: Titan Books

A few things we especially appreciated from our time with this book:

  • A recollection from Anita Montalban especially for this book about her father, Ricardo: this interview was given by Anita just before she died in 2021. A description of the so-called “Khan Baby,” — a part of an early script that showed Khan’s son among those on the Botany Bay.

    We haven’t read the movie’s novelization, though, as the baby does appear there.
  • A discussion about the birth of the legendary Monster Maroon uniform. What a classic costume.

  • Details about ILM’s time-tested visual effects work on Star Trek II.
Interior page
Interior page | Credit: Titan Books

These are just a handful of gems offered by this release. It’s a solid – perhaps, even, indispensable resource for Wrath of Khan diehards – a behind-the-scenes look that is guaranteed to teach you a thing or two about classic film. The book’s 12″ x 11″ coffee-table style is perfect for the striking visual nature of this book, so you’ll want to keep this one spotlighted in your home. After reading through the treasure trove of information gifted to readers by this book, we’re sure you’ll have a greater appreciation for the effort put into this franchise’s cinematic gem.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: The Making of the Classic Film is available on Amazon.


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Written By

Kyle Hadyniak has been a lifelong Star Trek fan, and isn't ashamed to admit that Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek: Nemesis are his favorite Star Trek movies. You can follow Kyle on Twitter @khady93.

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